Possible Destinations If Gareth Bale Leaves Real Madrid In The Summer

Gareth Bale must believe that his time at Real Madrid is coming to an end.

The Welsh star is now in his sixth season at the Bernabeu; he’s helped the club win a La Liga title, four Champions League trophies, three World Club Cups and a Copa del Rey. The forward has also managed to bang in 100 goals in 218 appearances for Los Blancos.

Yet even with that glowing CV and the ability to put in match winning performances in the biggest of encounters, the world class talent has never been the darling of the Real support.

It was thought that Bale would leave Madrid last summer. The Welshman came on in the Champions League final and scored a brace to ensure his side beat Liverpool by a 3-1 scoreline.

After the tie a frustrated Bale stated that it might be time to consider a career away from Spain (Source – Evening Standard):

Obviously I need to be playing, I need to be playing week in week out and that hasn’t happened this season for one reason or another,”

“Obviously now I have to sit down in the summer and discuss it with my agent and take it from there.”

“Disappointed not to start the game, thought I deserved it but the manager makes those decisions.”

It was felt that Real’s head coach Zinedine Zidane didn’t fully rate the Welsh international and that star man Cristiano Ronaldo preferred to play alongside Karim Benzema.

In a surprising turn of events, club legend Zidane would leave the giants and Ronaldo would be sold to Italian champions Juventus.

Those two changes meant Bale would stay on at the Bernabeu but it would also heap pressure onto the twenty-nine year old’s shoulders.

Real Madrid as a whole didn’t react well to the significant summer departures. New boss Julen Lopetegui was gone by halloween after just fourteen lacklustre games in charge.

By week twenty-three, Real have managed to get back into the top three but are six points behind league leaders FC Barcelona and have already lost six times in the Spanish top flight!

In the eighteen La Liga games in which he’s appeared this term, Gareth’s scored just six goals and created a mere two assists. He recently grabbed a strike in the derby win over Atletico, proving that he can still turn it on in the bigger games.

The attacker has also scored three European goals in his six Champions League outings.

A big issue is that the fans still haven’t taken to him. They want Ronaldo like stats from the €91m man and he’s not delivered that. A big problem is that the player seems to get injured all too often, when he hits a bit of form a niggle will end up putting him back on the sidelines.

It’s clear Real Madrid need to reinvest in the summer and go out and bring in a talent that can hopefully replace Cristiano. With that in mind, they’ll need to sell and I’d imagine Gareth Bale could be an ideal candidate to move on, given the difficulties that he’s had in Spain.

So where could the superstar forward go? 

Obviously a return to the Premier League will be touted. When he left in 2013 Gareth was one of the league’s top players!

Only a top six club would interest the forward and out of them I can only see two having a strong interest in his signature.

I don’t think former side Tottenham Hotspur will risk blowing their budget or wage structure bringing him back to White Hart Lane. I also don’t believe North London rivals Arsenal have the finances available to launch a bid.

I can’t see the current top two being overly interested in the creative attacker. Bale of 2019 probably won’t interest Pep Guardiola, he’d prefer to stick to the younger options that are currently serving Manchester City well. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has three fantastic forwards and might feel the inclusion of Bale would upset his squad’s balance and harmony.

That leaves Chelsea and Manchester United.

You’ve got to believe the Chelsea option could be dependent on Eden Hazard’s future. The Belgian maestro has long been linked with a move, ironically, to Real Madrid.

If the current Number Ten were to leave Stamford Bridge, then The Blues will no doubt look to bring in an established superstar-type forward. With Bale’s history in the English top flight and his Champions League heroics, he’d certainly fit the bill.

Could Real use their attacker as a makeweight in any Hazard deal?

Man United are a similar calibre of club to Madrid and that could be tempting for the player.

If Jose Mourinho were still in charge of The Red Devils then I’d say that they would definitely go after Gareth, as he was a known fan of the Cardiff born hero. United have a different philosophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who seems to fancy playing hungry, young attackers.

A move to Old Trafford will depend on who the next permanent manager is. 

There are also a few clubs on the continent that might fancy having Gareth Bale in their team.

PSG might be on the lookout for a new wide-man as Neymar continues to be linked with a move back to Spain (From Football365). Bale is the kind of household name that the Ligue 1 champs will always keep an eye on.

Bayern Munich are going to have a rebuilding job in the summer. Arjen Robben has already stated he’ll be leaving the Bundesliga giants in the summer, while Goal.com are reporting that Bayern have still to hold contract talks with veteran Franck Ribery.

Both Milan clubs might step in if interest isn’t firm from other sides. The Serie A sides will be hoping that they can qualify for next season’s Champions League and might believe they can do a deal with Real, if the Spanish team are willing to lower their fee or do a longterm loan deal.

I think it’s going to be a big summer for Gareth Bale. It looks like his time at Real Madrid is running out but a move to another big European club could give the forward a new challenge that he can embrace and prove once again that he can be one of the best players in the world!

Why Man United Could Be An Ideal Eventual Destination For Jadon Sancho

British media outlet The Metro have reported that Borussia Dortmund have told Manchester United that it will cost them £70m to bring Jadon Sancho back to England.

The eighteen year old left Manchester City in the summer of 2017 with the idea of getting more first team football with the Bundesliga giants.

It seems like the decision has paid off perfectly for the youngster, with Sancho playing forty senior games for Der BVB up to this point.

He’s been in fantastic form this season; the young forward has struck seven goals in Germany’s top flight and he’s also created nine assists in his twenty-one league outings.

According to football stats website Whoscored; Jadon takes at least one shot per game, make around two key passes per Bundesliga fixture and three dribbles per league appearance too. His passing success rate is pretty high at 85.4%, which is very strong for a very young wideman. His form has won him international recognition and he’s now won three caps for England.

The winger has also impressed in the Champions League and while Dortmund lost 3-0 to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week, Sancho shone (particularly in the first half) with his dribbling technique and his desire to attack the Spurs defence. Only Jan Vertonghen completed more dribbles than Jadon’s three successful dribbles.

Sancho has all the qualities that Man United look for in a player, especially with the new attacking era that’s started since Jose Mourinho’s dismissal. He’s young, exciting, likes to attack, is direct, efficient on the ball and a player that gets supporters up off their seats. The fact he’s English is another big bonus, as United fans love seeing young English players shining in a red jersey.

I think he’d be very interested if The Red Devils were to make an approach because they’ve got a rich history of playing young British players. Current caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown faith in playing young talented stars with Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot playing regularly in the Premier League.

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are also regular starters who were developed at the United academy.

It looks like Man Utd could be starting a new transfer plan to bring in extremely talented youngster, much like they did under legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson. As well as Jadon Sancho, Man United have also been heavily linked with Benfica whizkid Joao Felix (via The Guardian).

It’s an understandable strategy given the phenomenal success United when they brought in Cristiano Ronaldo in 2oo3 and Wayne Rooney in 2004.

Yet Man United will have to act with caution when pursing Europe’s talented youngsters, ironically because of Sancho’s history.

As well as scouting and signing top class young talent, United are known as a club that will promote their own youth products. The ‘Class of 92’ is the greatest evidence of that.

The Old Trafford side have a good crop of younger talent coming through at the moment. Scott McTominay, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have all impressed in the United youth squads and all apart from Greenwood have appeared for the first team.

Solskjaer stated this week that Gomes and Chong could get more opportunities in the next few weeks due to injuries to Man Utd first team members (Source – Goal.com):

“We’ve still got forward options, but Angel and Chong have been training with us all week and the weeks leading up to this, so there’s a big chance they’ll be involved.”

United have to be weary that their top youngsters might look at the success of Jadon at Dortmund and feel that could be them if they believe their chances are limited at Old Trafford. That could be a possibility if Man Utd decide to pay a huge fee to sign Sancho in the summer.

Personally I think Manchester United might believe it’s a risk worth taking as Jadon Sancho has the potential to become a world class attacker.

I think out of all of England’s top teams Manchester United is the one that really believe that if you’re old good enough then you’ll succeed no matter your age!

So it’ll be interesting to see if Sancho decides to come home in the near future or stay on the continent and continue his progression there.

Could Young French Star Be The Heir To Fernandinho’s Man City Throne?

Fernandinho

English newspaper The Daily Mail have suggested that Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Tanguy Ndombele could on Manchester City’s wanted list when the summer transfer window opens.

To be honest it would be a move that would make a lot of sense, in my opinion.

The current Premier League champions often look weaker whenever midfield enforcer Fernandinho isn’t in the side marshalling things in the engine room.

The Brazilian international has a strong work ethic, will win the ball back and is also very efficient with his passing. City just don’t seem to have a player of similar quality to come in when he’s injured or suspended.

Fernandinho’s going to turn thirty-four years of age before the start of next season. With that in mind, Man City boss Pep Guardiola would be foolish if he didn’t want to bring in a younger player to help carry the load and help the team when the veteran’s missing.

I think it’s worth noting that Ndombele has the raw potential to go all the way and become a world class midfielder. That being said I don’t think he’d arrive and walk straight into the Man City team.

Like Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus before him, he’d be asked to watch on from the bench and given proper time to adapt to the English game.

But he has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.

The twenty-two year old’s passing average of 88% is higher than that of Fernandinho. The Brazilian does make slightly more tackles per league game (2.1 compared to 2) and the more experienced man makes vastly more clearances and wins more aerial duels (stats from Whoscored).

But with Fernandinho tied to Man City until at least 2020, Tanguy could learn a lot about the holding role from the current City star.

Ndombele received his international debut in October and has been in great form for Lyon in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League.

He’s a player who remains calm under pressure, that can find a forward pass, has the skills to skip challenges and who doesn’t mind getting stuck in either. Being a young player, he’s of that age that Pep likes as he can mould the midfielder because he’ll be eager to learn and hungry to impress.

Lyon will want top dollar for one of their prized assets. The OL President will only sell for the right price. It could cost any team £70m (Source -The Sun) for Tanguy Ndombele services but that just might be worth it if the Frenchman can give Manchester City the same kind of service Fernandinho has given them over the years.

Young Dutch Defender Would Be An Ideal Liverpool Signing

If Jurgen Klopp could add to any part of his squad at the moment, I’m convinced he would add to his defensive department.

The German coach has watched on as his Liverpool side have faltered without young English stars Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

I’ve never been convinced by Dejan Lovren. Yes the Croatian internationalist can be very strong on occasions but he can also become a liability and sometimes in the biggest of encounters. Against title challengers Manchester City recently, Dejan was at fault for both of City’s goals and that’s allowedthe Premier League champions to close the gap on The Reds.

Joel Matip can do a job in central defence, it’s just that Klopp can’t rely on the twenty-seven year old not to breakdown with yet another injury. The Cameroonian has missed around forty games due to injury issues, since arriving at Anfield in 2016.

Young Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt could be an ideal Liverpool signing in the summer and be a perfect partner playing alongside compatriot Virgil van Dijk.

That’s a view echoed by former Dutch internationalist Rene Van der Gijp (from hitc.com):

“(De Ligt moving to Liverpool) would be great for Dutch football if those guys can play side by side for five to six years,”  

“Then you get one of the best centre-back partnerships in Europe.”

In Van Dijk, Liverpool have a genuine world class centre-back. In De Ligt (if he were to sign) The Reds would be getting a teenage defender well on the way to becoming a world class centre-half.

The nineteen year old has been superb for Ajax this term.

According to Whoscored, Matthijs has a 91.8% passing success rate. The young central defender is also capable of dribbling the ball out of defence. These are both qualities Klopp likes from his defenders and qualities De Ligt shares with Van Dijk.

Matthijs has also been impressive with defensive attributes this term. He leads the way for his team when it comes to winning aerial duels, winning on average around 3.4 per game. He also makes around 3.8 clearances per Eredivisie fixture.

The youngster has also been highly consistent for Ajax in this season’s Champions League.

De Ligt has won thirteen caps for the Dutch national team and he looked particularly good playing beside Virgil for The Netherlands against Portugal last year. Matthijs helped his side keep a cleansheet against the European champions and he also contributed with two assists.

Having the Dutchman in the Liverpool squad would give The Reds a chance to play with three at the back. De Ligt, Van Dijk and Gomez would be a formidable defensive threesome.

The player has already suggested that he needs a new challenge (Source -FourFourTwo):

 “To be honest, we didn’t play at 100 per cent, but we won 7-1. The difference between the sides in the Eredivisie right now is huge.

“The tension is less each time as there’s only two teams who are racking up the points. If we keep winning, it won’t be a problem, but we have to admit that it’s less fun.”

It certainly could be Matthijs de Ligt last season with de Godenzonen. 

Only time will tell if Liverpool will try and capture the teen, But I’m betting other top teams like FC Barcelona, PSG and Manchester City are willing to fight The Reds if the chance arises.

Manchester City Will Be Desperate To Keep Captain Kompany

Vincent Kompany will turn thirty-three years of age come April. The veteran defender has had various injury issues in recent seasons and he’s only made fourteen appearances so far this term.

Yet for me, the Manchester City captain is still invaluable and tying him down to a new deal should be a priority for the Premier League champions.

According to the Daily Mail, The Citizens are close to agreeing a new one year contract with the centre-back. The media outlet state that the player will likely accept a pay cut and that he’ll be given a testimonial game next season.

So why is it important to re-sign the centre-half who hasn’t played in twenty or more league games since the 2014-15 season? 

Well because Kompany is such an inspirational leader and has a great calming influence on the rest of the team.

When he’s fully fit, the Belgian international is still probably the best defender at the club. The backline certainly seems to play with more confidence when he’s in it.

In his nine top flight outings this season; Vincent has a 93% passing success record, wins on averages 2 aerial duels per game and makes 3.3 clearances too. (Source – Whoscored).

In the biggest of games, if fit, he’ll give you 100% and he will probably deliver more times than not!

Now Kompany might not be at the stage where he can play every game and youngsters John Stones and Almeric Laporte might be Pep Guardiola’s preferred choice at centre-back but have no doubts the Club’s captain has helped those two progress. He’s the leader that will have talked them through games and the voice in the dressing room that will have encouraged both young defenders to become greater players.

Yes Pep loves young talent, they’re easier to mould and they are hungry to learn and impress. But the Spanish coach is also keen on having experienced foot-soldiers within his ranks to help guide the squad through difficult moments. He had Carles Puyol and Xavi at FC Barcelona and he had Philip Lahm and Xabi Alonso at Bayern Munich.

At City he has Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero. These three veteran players go all the way back to City’s first Premier League triumph in 2012. They’ve gone on to win two more league titles plus enjoy success in the FA Cup and League Cup. They’re winners and Pep Guardiola respects that and encourages his other stars to learn from these extremely positive experienced pros.

Last month, the Man City boss told Sky Sports how important he believes Vincent Kompany to be:

“He is our captain, he has spent 11 years here.”

“Every central defender has quality but no doubt Vincent is special.

“The charisma, the winning, it is incredible. He is one of the best central defenders I have ever seen.”

You can’t get much better endorsements than that one from one of the best managers in world football.

Just having Vincent Kompany inside the Manchester City dressing room and talking to the media about the club is hugely beneficial. He really is a top player and a class act.

The club know he’s not finished and they know that he’s already a City legend.

That’s why I think it is so important to all parties that he stays at the Etihad and helps the club for at least another year!

Zidane To Chelsea Would Make Sense Only Because It’s Chelsea!

Today The Sun are reporting that Chelsea are targeting former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane to replace current head coach Maurizio Sarri.

When the Italian boss arrived at Stamford Bridge back in the summer, it was decided that he was the man to bring swashbuckling football to the London club.

Early in the season, ‘Sarri-ball’ was working a treat. The Blues were play with a high intensity, were pressing teams and out passing opponents. Along the way they managed to produce winning performances against both Manchester City and Arsenal. They were flying high in the Premier League and have made it into the League Cup final.

Unfortunately the wheels have come off the Sarri led bus recently. Chelsea were thumped 6-0 by Pep Guardiola’s Man City side last weekend and even Maurizio himself has questioned his future at the club (From The Guardian):

“My job is always at risk”

“If the president [Roman Abramovich] calls, I’ll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him. To be honest, I don’t know what to expect.”

Now a coach like Sarri was always going to need time. His tactical approach is vastly different from previous Chelsea bosses Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

At the start he would have been a refreshing change and the players would’ve reacted to him but then the malaise set in once again. There’s too much deadwood at Chelsea at the moment and more signings and departures will be needed before Sarri has a squad capable of constantly controlling games as he’d want. 

Now I believe Sarri could help himself and his players if he were to adapt his approach slightly. 

But Chelsea’s hierarchy must’ve known that by bringing in Sarri and searching for new, exciting football they’d have to probably wait for the best results. 

Even Guardiola needed a season at the Man City before bringing the Premier League title back to the Etihad. 

After a transitional year, Pep decided his team needed a new goalkeeper to replace that other new goalie and a four new defenders. City backed him big time in the transfer market and they were rewarded with two trophies last season. 

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich doesn’t seem to have the patience to wait for what he wants. He desires a side with an attacking philosophy similar to that of Guardiola but the Blues moneyman also desires instant success and a bulging trophy cabinet. 

Thus he chops and changes managers when they drop out of the top four and his gaffers struggle to field young talent that will offer something different. 

If Roman wants to get back into the top four and thinks Maurizio isn’t up to the task, then he’ll dump him and pay the price. 

And of course, Zinedine Zidane will appeal to the Russian billionaire. 

Zizou was one of the most gifted footballers of his generation and then as a coach he helped Real Madrid to win three Champions League titles in a row. 

The Frenchman also got the best from Cristiano Ronaldo. Chelsea may believe Zidane could be the man to get Eden Hazard to stay at Stamford Bridge. 

Zizou is a bluechip name and is the biggest free agent coach currently available. That will always appeal to a man like Abramovich. 

The Russian owner always seems conflicted and he also constantly believes that the grass is always greener on the other side. 

Roman and the rest of the Chelsea hierarchy have to finally stick to an ideal. 

Do they want to win trophies or do they want to win silverware with creative, attacking style? 

The second option will take a bit of time and The Blues will need to show patience! 

 

Alexis Sanchez Isn’t the Answer For Manchester United!

When Manchester United lost duo Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard to injury, their team didn’t look the same as they slumped to a 2-0 at home defeat to PSG in the Champions League.

After the game, United’s interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stated (Source – BBC Sport):

“Today was a kind of a reality check on the level of the top teams,” 

“That is the level we want to get to. Top four is one thing. United should be at the top. They are a top team. [Our players] know we need to step up our level. We are disappointed.”

I think Ole has a point, Man Utd should constantly aspire to become the best and last night showed everyone that they aren’t at that level yet.

I also believe that yesterday’s tie showed us that Alexis Sanchez isn’t the same force he once was.

I’m not sure if he’s lost his hunger for the game, if he’s lost a yard of pace, if he’s void of any confidence, just doesn’t suit United’s system or a combination of all of those things but ultimately he isn’t giving the club what they need.

I was actually fairly surprised that Solskjaer decided to fling the Chilean and Juan Mata on before fellow substitute Romelu Lukaku.

Sanchez has been used very sparingly thus far during the Norwegian’s tenure. He did manage two assists and a goal in January but too many times he seems to go hiding or slow up play.

He is Man Utd’s top earner and he hasn’t merited that wage since arriving to much fanfare in January 2018.

He played forty-six minutes against the Ligue 1 champions and he just couldn’t get into the game or make any sort of meaningful impact.

In total, according to Whoscored, Alexis only had 26 touches of the ball and made just seventeen passes. PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon managed better stats with his touches and passes.

The forward also had zero attempts at the opposition’s goal and didn’t make any successful tackles.

Sanchez was brought to Old Trafford to make positive impacts and in the biggest of games. Like most of his time at United, he was once again pretty invisible when his team needed him the most.

It’s also quite telling that the forward didn’t huff or moan, as he used to do at Arsenal. That at least showed that he had passion and wanted more from his teammates.

Now personally I’d have brought Lukaku on for Lingard and stuck the Belgian forward out onto the right flank. The attacker has shown in the past, most recently in United’s FA Cup win over Arsenal that he can caused plenty of issues out on that wing. His physical and direct presence out on the right would’ve pinned Spanish left-back Juan Bernat back. The PSG man bombed forward at every opportunity in the second half, realising Mata wouldn’t pose too many issues.

Then when Martial couldn’t start the second half, I’d have plumped for Mata instead of Sanchez. Then play the World Cup winner as a number ten behind Lukaku and Marcus Rashford. Juan Mata has produced big moments for Man United and Sanchez hasn’t!

Manchester United have been superb under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since his arrival. Last night was his first defeat in his opening eleven fixtures.

They were outclassed and they lacked the street smarts to overcome a strong side like PSG in that type of encounter but essentially they’ll all learn from it. They now have a new yardstick to work towards.

The caretaker manager will also have learned from the experience and he might believe that he can no longer put his trust into Alexis Sanchez because the Chilean certainly didn’t earn it when it mattered.

Champions League: Man United Vs PSG – Marcus Rashford Vs Kylian Mbappe

Tonight we will see two European powerhouses in Manchester United and PSG face off with the hope of giving themselves the advantage as both sides look to progress into the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.

An entertaining side-note to all this is that two of the world’s brightest footballing prospects will share the same field and will hope to out gun the other.

Strikers Marcus Rashford and Kylian Mbappe have supreme talent.

Twenty-one year old Rashford is finally getting his chance to shine as the Red Devil’s centre forward. The youngster has banged in six goals in his last eight Premier League outings, taking his total league tally to nine in seventeen starts this term.

Mbappe has been in sensational scoring form for his side, scoring a whopping eighteen goals in just seventeen Ligue 1 appearances so far in this campaign. The twenty-year old has also had his chance to shine through the middle and he’s outscored illustrious teammates Neymar and Edinson Cavani.

Now people might argue that the English top flight is a tougher test than that in France but let’s not forget that Kylian helped his national side win last summer’s World Cup, scoring four strikes in seven games.

Put either hitman into any team and they’ll score goals, in my opinion.

They’ve got electric pace, the skill-set to get passed opponents and are lethal finishers.

Personally, if I had to choose one I’d have to select Mbappe over Rashford at this moment.

While Rashford could be a superstar striker in the making much like Michael Owen, Kylian has the raw ability of the original Ronaldo.

The two could be the Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo of their generation. They could develop a respect and competition that inspires each other to become the best in the business.

Man United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to believe the same (Source – The Mirror):

“Strikers don’t really dominate football, but the pair of them will have a massive impression on football for the next 10 years.”

“They will really light it up.”

First off the two young superstars face off tonight and you’ve got to believe that either one of them could have a big say in who wins this huge tie!

Sergio Aguero Could Be Man City’s Title Difference Maker

Manchester City thrashed Chelsea 6-0 in the Premier League yesterday and their main man was once again Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine hitman bagged an excellent hat-trick (his eleventh in England’s top tier) as he helped down Maurizio Sarri’s side.

Aguero might be heading into his vintage years but the thirty year old has that goalscoring instinct that can be the difference between draws and victories. His consistent scoring exploits have helped City gain plenty of silverware during his spell at the Etihad.

As experienced yesterday, the forward can score in various situations. He can smash in accurate long range efforts, put away tap-ins and use his pace to get away from makers and calmly finish off one-on -one chances.

The striker also has the intelligence to make the right moves to create space inside the penalty area and provide the right runs for his creative teammates to search him out.

He really seems to have hit top form for City this year. His three goals against The Blues yesterday took the Argentine international’s league goal tally unto seventeen goals and he’s now joint top scorer with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

In 2019, Aguero has played in nine games and has scored ten goals. The striker has also created six assists in the Premier League this term.

In total, Sergio’s played in 229 English top flight games for Man City and he’s bagged 160 strikes!

He has become City’s all time leading goalscorer. Having him in form and having the winning experience that he has could be vital as Manchester City try and get their second league title in a row. He’s been there so many times before and he always seems to deliver. That’s invaluable in a title chase.

After a rocky start to life with Pep Guardiola, Sergio Aguero has buckled down and has become more of a team player. Instead of going into a huff, he adapted his game and has now become virtually undroppable.

Yesterday Sergio stated that he was happy with his goals but the team’s overall performance was more important (Source – The Independent):

“I am happy for the hat-trick and to break records in the Premier League and for the club.”

“I try to keep those good memories, and special thanks to my team-mates for helping me, but what matters most is winning.”

That kind of quote will be music to the ears of Pep, as he wants everyone in his team to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

The thirty year old hitman has the pace, intelligence and goalscoring instincts to work brilliantly with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.

His recent hat-tricks against Arsenal and Chelsea also show that Sergio is a forward for the big occasions.

If Manchester City and Sergio Aguero continue with this rich vein of form then it’s hard to believe that The Citizens won’t retain their Premier League title come May!

 

Stubborn Maurizio Sarri Needs To Drop His Favourite Chelsea Player

Maurizio Sarri’s famous ‘Sarri-Ball’ is fast becoming a hinderance rather than a joy to watch at Chelsea.

The London side were swept aside at the Etihad today, they were four down by half-time to Premier League champions Manchester City and looked shell-shocked. In the end they thrashed 6-0!

When things aren’t going your way, then you need to have a Plan B, yet that simply doesn’t seem to be the case with Blues boss Sarri.

The Italian likes to see his team dictate the tempo of games with a high pressing game and with lots of passing. When it works, it’s great. But in the English top flight other clubs will suss you out if you become too predictable and that’s happened in recently with Chelsea.

Sarri brought Jorginho with him when he joined Chelsea from Napoli in the summer. The Italian coach likes to see the Italian international midfielder as his side’s conductor, playing numerous passes from a deep-lying midfield role.

Other team’s in the league have since decided to get closer to Jorginho when he gets the ball and starve him of space to play meaningful passes. That move has totally frustrated the twenty-seven year old and the team have looked weaker because of it.

With the midfielder now making less of an impact with his passes going forward, The Blues have begun losing the ball more in dangerous positions. Now another issue in that, is Jorginho isn’t great at winning the ball back and that means when they lose it in those dangerous positions he can’t offer the defence the protection that they need.

He had a pretty terrible time of it against Man City.

The Italian couldn’t close down Sergio Agureo and the Argentine duly finished excellently from distance. A top class defensive minded, holding midfielder would’ve snuffed that chance out at it’s source!

By the hour mark, Jorginho only attempted to make two tackles (winning just one of those). By the same time City’s midfield marshall Fernandinho made seven challenges and won four of those. The Brazilian protected his defence and allowed his side’s attacking stars to run riot, while Jorginho was a liability. The Italian would also end the game with a booking to his name.

Looking at the player’s heat map on Whoscored and you’ll notice that Jorginho started to wander onto the right and wasn’t in the holding role enough.

It must be extremely frustrating for the Chelsea fans to see the club have a weak centre when they know that Sarri is playing World Cup winner N’Golo Kante on the righthand side.

The French star is one of the world’s best defensive midfielders, yet it’s him and not Jorginho that’s being asked to play out of position against Man City.

Pep Guardiola’s men passed rings around Jorginho and Kevin De Bruyne gave the Chelsea middle-man a torrid time. Chelsea’s number five just couldn’t cope with the defensive duties needed for such an occasion.

In fairness, Jorginho wasn’t helped with Maurizio Sarri stubbornly keeping him on the field and in that holding role. Thus meaning he was continually exposed.

These numerous poor performances have left Jorginho drained of confidence and instead of dropping him and giving his team a stronger spine, Sarri just forces the issue by sticking with the same tactics.

By doing that Jorginho becomes ever more exposed and the support start turning on him too.

His manager should at least have Kante playing in beside him and offering the backline some protection.

Listen I like Jorginho as a player, I don’t blame him for the dip in form as it’s Sarri that has to take the blame. The manager should see that the player needs to be taken out for his own good.

If Maurizio Sarri can’t fix his philosophy and drop his favourite players when needed then his time as Chelsea manager could be short lived.

Today’s result has seen the Blues sink to sixth place and fourth placed Manchester United seem to have all the momentum in their favour.

If Sarri wants to get back in the all important top four he needs to get himself a Plan B and implement it!